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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 49836
Experience:  Qualified Solicitor - Please start your question with 'For Ben Jones'
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I have been in business as a beauty therapist for 22years.

Customer Question

Good afternoon,
I have been in business as a beauty therapist for 22years.
Recently I performed a Lash treatment treatment on a young lady.
She contacted me as she had a soreness( I patch test prior to treatments) she then added that she did not like the outcome.( all via Facebook message) I suggested she wait for the soreness to subside and made an appointment for the following week. The lady did not turn up for the appointment.
Three weeks later she started bombarding me with abusive messages again via Facebook. She has posted messages on 2 facebay sites local to my business in which she tells people to avoid me and my business, has attacked my professional status, I has said I ruined her lashes and accused me of stalking her and that she is going to sue me! - to which people have commented in a negative way. One comment said that she was coming to me but won't now!
I have confidence in my treatments, I am an accomplished professional and have a healthy clientele.
This young women is vile and is making my life a living hell.
I offered a follow up appointment which was declined and the treatment was conducted within industry guidelines so I have no concerns that I was negligent. I have performed this treatment for many years and had 4 clients having this treatment this past week alone.
I am concerned only that she has and continues to slander me via social networking and her comments are detrimental to my good reputation.
Please can you help? What should I do?
Submitted: 4 months ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 4 months ago.

Hello, my name is***** am a qualified lawyer and I will be assisting you with your question today.

Expert:  Ben Jones replied 4 months ago.

Do you have this person's contact information, other than her Facebook information?

Customer: replied 4 months ago.
she completed a client card at my salon
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 4 months ago.

OK, thank you for your response. Leave it with me for now and I will review the relevant information and laws and get back to you at the earliest opportunity. There is no need to wait here as you will receive an email when I have responded. Also, please do not respond to this message as it will just push your question to the back of the queue and you may experience unnecessary delays. Thank you.

Expert:  Ben Jones replied 4 months ago.

Many thanks for your patience. Whilst this may appear to be a potential case of defamation (this includes libel if it is in written form, or slander if it is in oral form), such claims are rather difficult to pursue. Many people are keen on suing for defamation without having full appreciation of the law or practicalities in doing so. I will try and clarify the position below.

First of all, certain conditions must be met for the statement to be classified as defamatory. These are:

1. There has to be a defamatory statement - the assessment that is often used to establish this is whether the statement tends to lower the claimant in the estimation of right-thinking members of society generally

2. Its publication has caused or is likely to cause serious harm to the reputation of the claimant – this will vary based on what effect it will have but it really has to be something sufficiently serious

3. The statement has been published by the defendant to a third party

4. The claimant must prove that the words complained of were published about him - this should not be an issue if the claimant is named or clearly identified.

Whilst it may be easy to prove that defamation has taken place, the legal process of pursuing such a claim is often complex and prohibitively expensive. A claim must be made in the High Court and will likely require the help of professional defamation lawyers, so the costs will often be high right from the outset, usually in the thousands. There is also no legal aid available for such claims so the complainant must fund these personally.

You must also consider whether the publisher of the statement can potentially defend the claim. For example this can happen by proving the statement was true or an honest opinion which could have been made based on the available facts.

Instead of starting legal proceedings it would be best to contact the publisher of the comment, advise them that what they have done amounts to defamation and that you will consider pursuing the matter further if they do not retract their statement and issue an apology. This could prompt them to reconsider their position, which would avoid the need for court action. Of course, if they refuse to comply the option of suing still exists, but consider the above information before going down that route.

I trust this has answered your query. Please take a second to leave a positive rating by selecting 3, 4 or 5 stars above - this is an important part of our process and recognises the time I have spent assisting you. If you still need me to clarify anything else, please reply on here and I will assist as best as I can. Thank you

Customer: replied 4 months ago.
I will write to the person and ask that she retract the comments- although some have already been removed by Facebook. This does not stop her publishing other comments on other sites.
I think that if the letter comes from a solicitor that this would hold more authority and make her consider here actions- I think that a personal letter from me would end up in the bin and merely fuel the trolling.
Is this letter something you can do for me?
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 4 months ago.

Unfortunately not - we are just a Q&A site and cannot take on any formal work for customers, so you will need to find someone local to you to do this for a nominal fee. Hope this clarifies?

Expert:  Ben Jones replied 4 months ago.

Hello, I see you have read my response to your query. Could you please let me know if it has answered your original question? You can either reply on here with a quick ‘Yes, thanks’, or select 3, 4 or 5 stars on this page. I can still answer follow up questions if needed to clarify anything for you. Many thanks

Customer: replied 4 months ago.
You suggested that I write initially. Could you tell me what to write please
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 4 months ago.

I can only give you basic pointers, rather than draft something for you, but please leave your rating for the initial response first and then I can continue, thanks